Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MORGAN , THOMAS REES ( 1834 - 1897 ), mechanical engineer and manufacturer, and inventor ;

b. 31 March 1834 at Penydarren , Merthyr Tydfil, Glam. He worked in the mines until he had an accident, at the age of ten, which resulted in the loss of the left leg below the knee . After the accident he attended schools taught by John Thomas ( Ieuan Ddu ) , Owen Evans , and Taliesin Williams ( Taliesin ab Iolo ) . He developed, under the tuition of Taliesin Williams , a special fondness for mathematics and engineering ; he afterwards worked as mechanic in local iron-works . Emigrating to the U.S.A. in 1865 , Morgan settled at Pittston, Pa. , and worked in the shops of the Lackawanna and Bloomsbury railway . He afterwards worked in the Cambria Iron Works at Johnstown , as a foreman in the Atlas Works at Pittsburgh , etc. In 1868 he started business on his own account, under the name of Marchand and Morgan , the firm making steam hammers ; from this humble beginning came the large works of the Morgan Engineering Company , besides other companies. Nearly all the large travelling cranes used in the Carnegie Steel Works and at other rolling mills at Pittsburgh were designed by Morgan , who was also the first to construct electric cranes . Government contracts, including many for the U.S.A. navy , followed. It was he who solved the problem of ‘shaping’ armour plate for U.S.A. battleships. He took out numerous patents for designs and inventions. He d. 6 Sept. 1897 , at Alliance, Ohio .

Sources:

  • The Cambrian , 1891 (289-93), 1897 (441-4);
  • Y Drych newyddiadur cenedlaethol Cymry America (Utica), 26 Nov. 1891 ;
  • Edwards , Welshmen as Factors in the Formation and Development of the United States Republic , 1899 , 295-8;
  • The Royal blue book prize productions of the Pittsburgh International Eisteddfod, July 2, 3, 4 and 5, 1913 , Pittsburgh, 1916 (Pittsburgh International Eisteddfod, 2-5 July 1913 ), 1916 , 74-5.

Author:

Robert (Bob) Owen, O.B.E., M.A., (1885-1962), Croesor

Published date: 1959